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World: Parliamentary Conference Focuses On Human Rights, Equality

Prague, 15 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Geneva-based Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) held its last session in Seoul today, adopting a series of reports concerning the human rights of world parliamentarians, security and co-operation in the Mediterranean, and the situations in the Middle East and Cyprus.

The council, closing its 97th session, also decided to readmit the National Assemby of Niger to the IPU, which brings the membership up to 138 national parliaments. The two most recent members, Georgia and Tajikistan, were admitted just last week at the start of the conference.

Women parliamentarians from more than 60 countries held a separate session on the sidelines of the conference aimed at making world politics more gender sensitive and eliminating the problem of the sexual exploitation of children.

An emergency session grouping more than 600 world parliamentarians also was held on the situations in Albania and Zaire, but no details were released.

The 98th Inter-Parliamentary conference is scheduled to be held in Cairo this September. The Council chose the following two themes to discuss at that meeting: Ensuring lasting democracy by forging closer links between Parliament and the people; and employment in a globalizing world.